I’m just beginning to look for information about how this stuff works, inspired by efforts to maintain communications with citizens of repressive regimes, such as Iran and China. There is a lot of information about proxies, relay systems, encryption, and so on, but in many cases the authors start by telling you why the stuff you just spent thirty minutes reading about can’t possibly work. Each approach to defeating surveillance appears to have serious limitations and dangers. Eventually, run-of-the-mill Internet criminals, spammers, and hackers will jump into this melee and find new ways to exploit people that use these external web-based defenses, sometimes in defense of their lives.
General summary of how surveillance defenses work, maybe:
More general information:
Tor, which is apparently a network of open relays to allow users to disguise their original IP address [which used to get you in all sorts of trouble with your ISP] :
Some of the anonymizing systems apparently intend to profit from the misfortunes of repressed citizens. Freegate’s description says, for example, “Without license, user may be able to use it for a few minutes.” If you’re trying to post a video clip to YouTube of your family being clubbed and dragged away , this is going to be inconvenient, at best:
One of numerous accounts of how to set up proxies. There are also numerous accounts of why proxies aren’t working against the Iranian regime—at some point, you have to tell someone inside Iran where the proxy is. Encryption, likewise, requires the key to be available to the target audience.
A forum with specific discussions of anti-surveillance tactics in Iran:
Since the Internet is essentially amoral, however, the usual crop of thieves, spammers, and salesmen have already started to invade the discussions and Twitter hashtag groups. Whether the stuff they offer even works is a matter of speculation. Meanwhile, actual information from inside Iran seems to be drying up.
[The claim by the Wall Street Journal—which I quoted earlier—that Nokia/Siemens had provided Deep Packet Inspection technology to the Iranian government has been vigorously denied by the company: http://bit.ly/2HMFet There doesn’t seem to be anyone trying to refute the denial, either.]